When you say Pennsylvania, most people will think Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, our two largest cites. These are easily recognizable as they are some of the largest in the entire country. If I say Pennsylvania, the picture in my head isn't of the Liberty Bell or Heinz Field, but a completely different one. I see mountains, valleys, farmland, and small towns. In fact, this is what the majority of our state is. If you happen to be from one of these small Pennsylvania towns, I am sure you will find many of these statements to be true.
1. Everyone knew each-other: this could be a good and bad thing.
Depending on whether you liked the majority of people in your small town, you could either be part of a close-knit community or trapped inside of a living hell.
2. Your reputation in school was often based off of your older siblings (or other family members).
I was the oldest sibling in my family, but I couldn't tell you how many times my younger siblings have been called "Paige".
3. You couldn't go to church, the grocery store or the doctor without running into someone (or multiple people) that you know.
If you had a mom who liked to talk to everyone, this meant 4 hour grocery store trips.
4. EVERYONE was cousins.
And family politics played a big role in your small town. I went through phases being proud and jealous that I didn't have family close by.
5. School started late because of Grange Fair.
If you don't know what Grange Fair is, it is basically where thousands of people camp out in campers and tents for a week at a giant county fair. It is pretty cool but nuts. People furnish their tents nicer than my house.
6. And you had days off for hunting season.
Whether you hunted or not, the first day of hunting season was basically a holiday.
7. You went on "Sheetz runs" for entertainment.
Oh mac n' cheese bites. Walmart, the bowling alley, movies and your friend's camps were also popular places to hang out.
8. THE DRAMA.
This was hands down my least favorite part about growing up in a small town. Everyone was always in each other's business no matter how private or personal the issue.
9. You've had to slow down for a tractor.
Funny story about that. I actually got stuck behind one during my driver's license test. Horses and buggies and cows crossing the road were also something you always had to look out for.
10. "State College" or other college towns are referred to as cities.
When the college kids came in, it became the closest thing to a city we had.
11. If people asked where you are from you are from, you just gave them the nearest city.
I always said by State College or "Penn State" because nobody knew about Bellefonte. (My GPS can't even pronounce it correctly)
12. High school sports were put on a pedestal.
Everyone went to the football games, no matter how well the team played. Also, if you played a sport, chances are you played at least 2 or 3.
13. You always felt safe.
People leave their houses and car doors unlocked. Plus, I never felt apprehensive about walking alone.
14. You knew (or knew of) everyone in your graduating class.
If your class was pretty small, it was never that hard.
15. Everyone started getting married and having babies straight out of high school.
Not saying there is a right or wrong to do things, this just happens at higher rates in small towns. I will be attending 2 more of my friends weddings this summer. But really, pass the mozzarella sticks!
16. You didn't have that many dining options.
If you are from Bellefonte, I REALLY hope you like Italian.
17. Rush hour was pulling out of your development onto the main road to leave for school.
To add to that, Penndot always picked the best times to do roadwork...
18. The local art, traditions, festivals, architecture and small businesses can't be beat.
I will always have a soft spot for Victorian architecture.
19. Traditional small town values.
Jesus, family and America. You also can't beat small town hospitality.